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Causation and Laws of Nature in Early Modern Philosophy$
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Walter Ott

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199570430

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570430.001.0001

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The Two Humes

The Two Humes

Chapter:
(p.191) 23 The Two Humes
Source:
Causation and Laws of Nature in Early Modern Philosophy
Author(s):

Walter Ott (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570430.003.0024

Hume's Treatise has two distinct goals: first, to reveal the limitations of human knowledge by developing an empirical psychology, and second, to decide metaphysical questions. Many commentators take these to be in conflict, and so emphasize one or the other. This chapter suggests a way to unify them: by discovering the limits of human thought, Hume can declare certain metaphysical positions not just unknowable, or true for all we can tell, but positively nonsensical. The psychological project is thus in service of the metaphysical.

Keywords:   Hume, psychology, limits of thought, human knowledge

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